(West Covina) – There were 80 points scored combined by both teams inluding 34 in the fourth quarter alone. There was abundance of big plays for touchdowns that included kick off returns of 109 and 85 yards and passes for 80, 60 and 59 yards. There were five interceptions and a couple of lost fumbles and there were several scuffles including a near brawl in the fourth quarter. When the dust finally settled The East held on to outlast the West 46-34 in the 33rd Annual Hall of Fame Game Friday night at West Covina High School.
Jimmy Frazier of West Covina earned MVP honors for the victorious East while De’Shawn Ramirez (Monrovia) won the MVP award for the West.
Ramirez was his usual explosive self turning a short hitch pass from Andy Guerrero (San Gabriel) into a 19 yard touchdown in the second quarter to give the West a 6-3 lead. In the fourth quarter he returned a kick off 85 yards for a touchdown to account for the final score. He also ran out of the wildcat for 20 plus yards.
Frazier scored on a 42 yard touchdown run early in the fourth to give the East what prove to be an insurmountable 39-14 advantage. He had six carries for 80 yards.
There were four lead changes in the first half before the East pulled away in the third quarter. After Ramirez’ score put the West in front Diamond Ranch’s Chris Miller went 109 yards with the ensuing kick off for a 10-6 East lead.
The West came right back with a huge play as Steven Rivera (Arroyo) connected with Pasadena’s Riian Simpson for a 60 yard touchdown pass.
Los Altos quarterback Shane Virnala scored on a 14 yard yard run on the next series to put the East back in front 16-14. The West was forced to punt and the East immediately pieced together a seven play, 74 yard drive that Corey Victoria (Glendora) finished with a five yard run to give the East a 22-14 lead at the half.
The East broke it open in the third quarter scoring on a Justin Fa’aola one yard run and a 47 yard field goal by Diego Lopez of Nogales to lead 32-14. When Frazier busted off his 42 yard TD run early in the fourth the West seemed dead and buried.
But Guerrero and Rivera started slinging it around the field to make in interesting. Guerrero found SG teammate Alex Villalobos down the left sideline for a 59 yard touchdown pass with 8:03 left. The West got the ball back and Rivera hit Duarte’s Richard Bradford for an 80 yard strike. Bradford broke a few tackles along the way and suddenly it was 39-28 with 5:14 remaining.
With the East running the ball and trying to eat up the clock, Desmond Reed (Azusa) left several tacklers in his wake for a 45 yard touchdown run.
Ramirez’ ensuing kick off return finally ended the scoring.
Things got a little chippy late in the game when a shoves were exchanged after a tackle. Players from both sides rushed the field but order was quickly restored by referees and coaches.
Tyquwan Glass of Muir played well on defense keeping the West in the game by batting away a potential Virnala touchdown pass in the first quarter and later intercepting Covina’s Billy Livingston twice. But it was ultimately the offense that was the difference.
“I wasn’t surprised by it. They have explosive players and we have explosive players,” said East Coach Dale Ziola. “It wasn’t anything the coaches had to do. We just called the plays and the players did their thing.”
Virnala threw for 146 yards and a touchdown and also ran for 33 yards on three carries.
“He did a great job. I’ve said he’s the best quarterback in the valley and I still think he is,” Ziola said.
The East spread the wealth around as six different players scored touchdowns. For the West Ramirez scored twice, Guerrero ran for 47 yards and threw for over 100 and Rivera threw for 224 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
“Yeah, we tried to make in interesting,” said West Coach Jude Oliva.
E 3 19 10 14 46
W 0 14 0 20 34